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Parents & Families FAQ


What is Title IX and who does it protect?

Title IX of the Education Amendments of 1972 states that: No person in the United States shall, on the basis of sex, be excluded from participation in, be denied the benefits of, or be subjected to discrimination under any educational program or activity receiving Federal financial assistance. This amendment protects all individuals associated with any federally funded institution from any form of discrimination and harassment on the basis of sex, including sexual violence – specifically, sexual assault, dating/domestic violence, stalking, and sexual harassment.

The College of New Jersey’s Interim Sexual Harassment, Misconduct, & Discrimination Policy applies to all students, faculty, and staff within the campus community. It includes both on-campus and off-campus conduct in connection with the College or College-recognized programs in addition to conduct that may create a hostile environment for a member of the TCNJ community. This Policy also applies to individuals of all gender identities.

The The United States Department of Justice explains that, “Title IX is a comprehensive federal law that prohibits discrimination on the basis of sex in any federally funded education program or activity. The principal objective of Title IX is to avoid the use of federal money to support sex discrimination in education programs and to provide individual citizens effective protection against those practices. Title IX applies, with a few specific exceptions, to all aspects of federally funded education programs or activities. In addition to traditional educational institutions such as colleges, universities, and elementary and secondary schools, Title IX also applies to any education or training program operated by a recipient of federal financial assistance.”


Who is responsible for enforcing Title IX at TCNJ?

The following staff members are responsible for enforcing the Sexual Harassment, Misconduct, & Discrimination Policy. Please direct all questions and concerns to:

Chelsea Jacoby, Ed.D.
Director of Title IX Compliance & Sexual Misconduct | Title IX Coordinator
Vice President for Student Affairs Suite – BSC 202
Phone: (609) 771.3112
Email: jacobyc@tcnj.edu

Kerri Thompson-Tillett, Esq.
Associate Vice President, Diversity & Inclusion
Director of EEO & Affirmative Action
Phone: (609) 771-3139
Email: eeo@tcnj.edu

Caitlin Babcock
Assistant Director of Sexual Misconduct & Student Conduct Investigator
Dean of Students Suite – BSC 202
Phone: (609) 771.2613
Email: babcockc@tcnj.edu


In what capacity can I speak to Title IX staff on behalf of my student?

The Office of Title IX & Sexual Misconduct would be happy to answer any general questions regarding the College’s Policy and procedures, however, in order to discuss specifics of an alleged incident of Prohibited Conduct, College resolution process, or outcome with a parent or legal guardian or anyone other than the student themselves, the student needs to provide a written waiver or other supporting documentation to the Office of Title IX & Sexual Misconduct explicitly providing the Office permission to speak with you directly.


Is there a time limit for individuals to make a report?

No – The College encourages reporting an incident as soon as possible in order to maximize our ability to respond promptly and effectively. If the respondent is no longer a student or employee, the College may not be able to take action against the Respondent, but it will still seek to meet its state and federal obligations by taking steps to end the harassment, prevent its recurrence, and address its effects, when appropriate.


What safety measures and accommodations are available to someone who has experienced harm when they report a Title IX or sexual misconduct-related incident?

In all cases, the College will take appropriate steps designed to mitigate the effects of the alleged prohibited conduct, prevent its recurrence, and make accommodations for the student(s) involved. Even if the student is not interested in participating in a College or criminal process supportive measures can be applied. Such supportive measures may include, but are not limited to:

  • Moving a student’s campus residence
  • Adjusting a work schedule for employment
  • Changing a student or faculty’s academic schedule
  • Changing a student, faculty, or staff’s transportation arrangements
  • Allowing a student to withdraw from or retake a class without penalty
  • Providing access to tutoring or other academic support
  • Issuing a ban letter from campus
  • Issuing a “no contact” directive

See our Supportive Measures page for more information.


How is a Title IX investigation different from a criminal investigation?

The College and Criminal processes are two separate entities. A criminal investigation undertaken by the police seeks to determine whether an individual violated criminal law. An individual who is found guilty of such a crime following a police investigation and trial may be imprisoned. In contrast, Title IX/Sexual Misconduct (otherwise known as “Prohibited Conduct” investigations conducted by The College of New Jersey determine whether an accused party (referred to as the Respondent) has violated the College’s Sexual Harassment, Misconduct, & Discrimination Policy, and what disciplinary actions may be appropriate. The College follows a “preponderance of the evidence” standard, which requires the evidence supporting a finding of responsibility to be more convincing than the information in opposition to it or, in other words, that it is more likely than not the alleged conduct occurred. An individual has the right to pursue a College investigation by filing a Formal Complaint with the Title IX Coordinator, Dr. Chelsea Jacoby, and to pursue criminal charges through the police. A reporting party may elect to file a complaint with the College, the police, or both at the same time. While TCNJ may provide information and support, College and criminal investigations are independent and distinct. The processes are not mutually exclusive. A party may be arrested and charged in the criminal justice system as well as under the Sexual Harassment, Misconduct, & Discrimination Policy, and/or Student Conduct Code (or other applicable College policy/ies). Alternatively, charges can occur for alleged violations of the Sexual Harassment, Misconduct, & Discrimination Policy, and/or Student Conduct Code, which may not be violations of the law.

College vs Criminal procedure outline


Who and how can someone submit a report of sexual harassment or misconduct?

Anyone who has experienced or been impacted by sexual harassment or misconduct, or has information about an incident involving harassment or misconduct, is encouraged to report the information to the Office of Title IX & Sexual Misconduct, so we can conduct outreach to the person who has experienced harm and inform them of their rights/options and get them connected with resources. 

A report can be submitted in any of the following ways – 

  • Submitting a report online – You can do so here: File A Report
    • This is the preferred method
  • Contacting the Office of Title IX & Sexual Misconduct directly
    • Director of Title IX Compliance & Sexual Misconduct | Title IX Coordinator, Dr. Chelsea Jacoby, via:
    • Assistant Director for Sexual Misconduct & Student Conduct Investigator, Caitlin Babcock, via:
    • Meet with the staff in person in the Office of Title IX & Sexual Misconduct Suite, in BSC 202 to make the report 

My student has been impacted by sexual violence, how can I best help them?

DO –

  • Believe – To assist in your student’s healing process, simply start by telling them that you believe them. All too often they are not believed by friends, family, and systems, which increases harm.
  • Listen – If your student chooses to disclose a traumatic experience to you, trust that they chose you for a reason. The most helpful thing you can do is listen to what they have to say. Listening can be as simple as being there as they process the situation on their own. Don’t worry if you don’t feel like you know exactly what to say. It’s more important to make sure they feel heard, and that they can communicate with you without fear of judgment.
  • Validate – Acknowledge your student’s feelings of sadness, fear, anger or confusion. Let them know that these feelings are normal.
  • Refer & Support – Be engaged, but patient. Your student should be given the space to make their own choices about what they want to do, including what resources they want to access. It can be helpful to present options and then to support them in reaching out. Also, students are often able to have a support person during their meetings/appointments. Find out if your student would find it helpful for you to be in attendance with them – if not, be respectful of their wishes, and if so, make sure that serving in that support role for them feels right for you as well. For more information on available resources visit titleix.tcnj.edu
  • Take Care of Yourself – You may be experiencing many of your own emotions and thoughts, and it’s critical that you take care of yourself. This means knowing and expressing your own boundaries and limits in supporting your student and loved one and being aware of your own experiences of trauma.

AVOID –

  • Asking questions that suggest blame, such as “why were you drinking?” or “why didn’t you get help sooner?”
  • Sharing that you know what they are going through.
  • Feeling as though you need to know all of the answers or have the exact right thing to say.

What are available resources for my student to access should they be impacted by sexual harassment or misconduct?

There are various resources available to your student on and off-campus. A description and associated contact information for each can be found on our Resources Page.


 

For any questions or concerns, please contact the Title IX Coordinator, Chelsea Jacoby, directly at jacobyc@tcnj.edu or (609) 771-3112.

ATTENTION: For questions/concerns or if you or someone you know has experienced any form of sexual violence, be sure toContact Us
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